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Student perspectives: Dance Science in Finland

Posted By IADMS Student Committee, Monday, October 15, 2018

Student perspectives: Dance Science in Finland

With the Helsinki conference fast-approaching we were excited to talk to Finnish dance science student Oonasofia (Sofia) Saukkonen to find out more about the dance science scene in Finland! Sofia is a physiotherapist and dance scientist who graduated with an MSc from the University of Bedfordshire, UK in 2017. Currently, Sofia is working on a number of research projects, in addition to completing her BA in Dance Teaching at a Finnish university.

 

 

 - How did you first get interested in dance science/medicine?

 

Sofia: I am a physiotherapist and a dance scientist. The dance studio was my second home ever since I stepped there for the first time as a three-year old. As a teenager I started to dream of a professional career in dance and along the way, while working as a dancer and a dance teacher, I developed an interest in the functioning and biomechanics of the human body. I became a physiotherapist. After this, an MSc in dance science allowed me to deepen my understanding of dance practice from physiological, psychological, and biomechanical perspectives.

 

 

- Are you currently working on any research? Can you give us your elevator pitch about your research area?

Sofia: My forthcoming research will investigate improving dancers’ turnout, following my dissertation which focused on the same area. I am keen to better understand how dancers’ alignment may improve or deteriorate their performance, as well as its relation with injuries. I am also highly interested in the benefits of dance training for the non-dancing populations and how dance could benefit different groups of people used both in rehabilitation and as preventative practice.

 

 

- What are your plans now you've graduated?

 

Sofia: I graduated with an MSc from the University of Bedfordshire, UK in 2017 after which I have been doing some teaching at the university and focusing on a dance film project. The project is done in cooperation with a Finnish association run by women living with cancer (Siskot ry). Simultaneously I am finishing a BA in Dance Teaching in a Finnish university and planning my next research project that I will carry out in Finland. In the future, I hope to provide the Finnish dance community with information of dancers’ training and well-being, based on dance scientific research – in Finnish language.

 

 

- Can you tell us a bit about the dance medicine and science ‘scene’ in Finland?

 

Sofia: As mentioned before, I did my MSc in dance science in the UK. This programme does not exist in Finland. Instead, specializing in dance medicine e.g. for a physiotherapist happens often having background in dance, and by making the right choices during and after studies; with internships and dissertation subjects one has an opportunity to choose a path in dance medicine.

The key organization in dance medicine and science in Finland is DHF (Dance Health Finland ry). DHF works in promoting the well-being of Finnish dance students and professionals, but also aims to enhance the knowledge of Finnish health professionals working in the dance field. DHF also has a register for professionals working in the dance medicine field for dancers to easily find the right help as needed. We have some great experts specialized in dance medicine.

 

 

- What can you tell us about the arts and dance in Finland?

 

Sofia: In Finland, there are tens of thousands of recreational dancers. Professional dance activities, especially the number of companies and choreographers have grown strongly in recent decades. With a population of only 5.5 million people there are still many educational paths for one to aspire to a professional career in dance; four vocational schools and four universities offering higher education. Finnish professional dancer education is of a high standard and the dancers and choreographers often find employment not only in Finland but also internationally. They work in performing and increasingly also in other art-based activities such as community dance projects.

There are regional dance centres aiming to improve dancers’ employment, to increase dancers’ working possibilities, and supporting dancers’ collaboration; many professional organizations exist to support dance professionals in their work e.g. in providing training possibilities, developing the quality of dance education, or offering help in law-related matters. For a small country there is a great variety of dance festivals around the year. There is a magazine of the artists, phenomena and ideas on the Finnish dance scene publishes in English called ‘Finnish Dance in Focus’.

Probably the greatest and most important ongoing project now in dance in Finland is the Dance House Helsinki project. The Dance House will open its doors in 2020 and aims to help Helsinki become one of the leading cities of dance in Europe and worldwide. It will be open for all forms of dance providing versatile opportunities for collaboration, performance spaces, and high-level programme hoping to increase the number of dance spectators as well as international visits to Finland.

 

 

- What would you say to a student thinking of attending this year’s annual meeting in Helsinki, Finland?

 

Sofia: Helsinki is a vibrant and laid-back yet active city with charming architecture. One third of Helsinki is covered in green areas. It can be easily explored by foot and close to the conference venue you can find interesting places to visit whether you are into contemporary art (Kiasma), museums (The National Museum of Finland), walks in green parks next to water (City Park Hesperian Puisto), restaurants, or shopping in the centre. Within walking distance there are also the. Helsinki Music Centre and Finnish National Opera.

Public transportation is easy to use, and you will get along in English no matter where you go as most Finns speak fluent English. Last year the lowest temperature was -5°C and the highest +14°C in October so I guess it is good to be prepared for anything! Finland is a country with 188 000 lakes, the Northern Lights, and it is said to be the greenest country in the world. It is the home of Santa Claus, and one of the few countries where lost wallets often get returned to their owners. Not only is the IADMS Conference itself a great reason to visit Helsinki but if willing, you will find exciting things to explore and iconic places to see on your free time. I warmly welcome you to my home country!

 

For more information in English:

Dance Health Finland (DHF): https://www.dhf.fi/4

Dance House Helsinki: https://tanssintalo.fi/en/about-us/

Dance Info Finland: https://www.danceinfo.fi/en/infobank-category/education/

(Dance education, festivals, residencies, organizations, companies, and choreographers etc.)

 

Guides and Things to Do in Helsinki:

https://www.myhelsinki.fi/en

http://www.visitfinland.com/helsinki/

 

 

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5 Questions With... Jill Descoteaux

Posted By IADMS Student Committee, Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Student representative Jill Descoteaux tells us a bit about herself and her role in IADMS. Jill was previously a member of the IADMS student committee and is currently a doctoral candidate in the Interdisciplinary Program at Ohio University, combining professional counseling with athletic training.

 

How did you first get interested in dance science/medicine?
I was in the process of changing majors from Health Promotion to Athletic Training as an undergraduate student when I started to become more active in observing, learning, and practicing dance. Combining these two areas seemed very practical to me, so as a student I found creative ways to supplement my athletic training education with more opportunities in clinical practice with performing artists such as shadowing a dance-specific physician in Boston and providing supervised care for a dance team at the private high school where I was placed for my clinical rotation.



Can you tell us a bit about your role in IADMS?
While I am still learning what my role is, I am representing the student voice on the board of directors. Because a certain percentage of the membership is made up of students, my elected position is to give that percentage of the membership representation when discussing the direction of IADMS and expressing the needs of that membership.



What are you looking forward to in your role as student representative?
So far, I am really enjoying getting to know the other professionals who make up the board. These are people who have dedicated a lot to the field, and working alongside them is an honor. Second, I really look forward to addressing the needs of the students and bringing those needs and concerns to the board and finding ways to guide the organization to better serve that membership. Ideally creating opportunities and efficient means of connecting students to each other and other professionals is what I want to encourage over the next two years.


 

Are you currently participating in research? Can you give us your elevator pitch about your research area?
I am in the depths of my dissertation at the moment! In a nutshell, I am comparing the lived experiences of dancers in Australia to the experiences of dancers in America in terms of their relationship with health care. I am interested in access, communication, satisfaction, and knowledge under this umbrella. My data comes from in-person, in-depth interviews that I’ve just finished conducting this past August in Sydney.



In which ways has IADMS helped you grow in your field of study?
I would say IADMS has motivated and validated my career path of choice. Through meeting other members and being inspired by their local dancer-care services and structure, I feel that the work that I do fits into something greater and even crosses national borders. Feeling a part of that international community is really wonderful when in New Hampshire, I don’t have that community per se. Just as one example, I used IADMS to find Dr. Claire Hiller who is serving as the dance-specialist on my dissertation committee and without her help, my three months in Sydney may have been impossible. This relationship was formed through another connection that I made through the IADMS membership directory.

 

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5 Questions With Kali Taft

Posted By IADMS Student Committee, Saturday, September 2, 2017

 

-How did you first get interested in dance science/medicine?

 

I found out about dance science when touring Texas A&M when I was a senior in high school. I had no idea that this major existed, but as soon as I found out, I knew that was exactly the path I wanted to take for my undergraduate education.

  

 

-Are you currently participating in research? Can you give us your elevator pitch about your research area?

 

Yes, I have just finished with a research study entitled "Dance Aerobic Fitness Test Steady Increase Training versus Plyometric High Intensity Interval Training on Cardiovascular levels in collegiate dancers" and I will be presenting a poster of the research at IADMS in Houston this year.  This research study was a five week long study and the goal was to find out which training method is the best for dancers to use in preparation for performance season.  The results may surprise you! Come to IADMS this year to hear more details!

  

 

-As a student based in Texas, can you tell us a bit about the dance medicine and science ‘scene’ there?

 

Texas A&M has a lot of interest in the field.  In our program, anatomy is talked about in every technique class, a lot of research studies go on-faculty and student led- that students can participate in, and every year we do wellness screens for the students to learn about their own bodies and structural capabilities/limitations. 

 

 

-What would you say to a student thinking of attending this year’s annual meeting in Houston, Texas?

 

I think that IADMS is an enriching conference that could be beneficial for anyone in attendance. I am looking forward to hearing of the research being done in the field currently so I can update my practice and help protect my body better when dancing. I am also looking forward to making connections that could help me figure out the path I need to take in my life for the future. It is refreshing to be with people that are like-minded, and I am excited to be in a place that most of the other people share my passions.

 

 

-This year’s annual meeting is in Houston, in one sentence tell us what we can expect from the city…

 

Houston is definitely an exciting place to visit, and a good representation of the phrase "everything is bigger in Texas", so there is definitely enough to do for everybody! 

 

 

 

If you’d like to share your experiences, email us at student@iadms.org.

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5 Questions With…K. Michael Rowley

Posted By IADMS Student Committee, Monday, May 8, 2017

This month’s featured member is K. Michael Rowley of the University of Southern California. Michael is a PhD candidate working in the Jacquelin Perry Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Research Lab in the Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy studying recurrent pain. His areas of interest include postural control, cognitive contributions to posture, dance injury prevention and recurrent low back pain.

-How did you first get interested in dance science/medicine?

Since grade school, I’ve been interested in the human body, biology, and movement. Separate from that, I pursued dance as a hobby in high school and minored in it at the University of Delaware (UD). It was there that Dr. Lynette Overby, a faculty member in the Dance Minor Program at UD, introduced me to the intersection of my two interests – dance and science. She recommended I look into IADMS, and I attended my first conference that year in Washington, D.C., USA. Dance is such a fruitful and rich field in which to observe, practice, and study concepts of human movement.

Pictured: Michael Rowley, Jeff Grimaldo, and Anne Grimaldo
of the Rudy Perez Ensemble in Santa Monica, CA.
Photo by Ben Licera.

-Are you currently participating in research? Can you give us your elevator pitch about your research area?

In the Jacquelin Perry Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Research Lab, working under my advisor Dr. Kulig, we study problems of recurrent pain. One specific group of patients we investigate are dancers with flexor hallucis longus tendinopathy, a condition sometimes called “dancer’s tendinitis”. We test different modifications to relevé exercises as potential prevention or non-surgical treatment interventions. This research was funded by the American Physical Therapy Association Orthopaedic Section's Performing Arts Special Interest Group. Another population we study is persons suffering from recurrent low back pain. We investigate different mechanisms that may contribute to altered postural control in these persons even during periods of pain remission.


-What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I plan to pursue a post-doc in order to expand my research knowledge and skills. After that, I’ll begin looking for a faculty position at a university where I can work closely with both a kinesiology or biomechanics department and a dance program. It’s a passion of mine to keep these two areas communicating and connecting so we can (a) learn how to improve dancer health and performance, (b) investigate general principles of movement and motor control by studying dancers, and (c) develop dance-like interventions for other populations and patient groups.

-Which annual meeting has been your favorite so far and why?

 

 Pittsburgh was my favorite annual meeting. Being my fourth meeting, professionals began recognizing me, saying hello, and asking about my work. It was very cool to start feeling part of the community. Also, my sister was in her senior year at the University of Pittsburgh studying Athletic Training. She also attended the meeting to learn about how to better treat dancers. We had so much fun being in a professional setting and learning together! I am very grateful for this experience that I know most siblings with diverse interests do not get to share. My sister, Whitney, has since graduated and is now an Athletic Trainer employed by UPMC and working with the dance students at Point Park University – using knowledge she gained from the IADMS meeting on a pretty-much-daily basis. We still chat often about what she’s learning while helping these dancers perform at their best and prevent and recover from injury.

 

Pictured: Michael Rowley and Whitney Rowley at IADMS2015 in Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

-In which ways has IADMS helped you grow in your field of study and what would you say to a student thinking of joining IADMS?

 

 IADMS has provided invaluable networking opportunities. Some of these have already begun paying off as we at USC have been able to collaborate with other dance science and health researchers in the area and internationally. As we’ve moved forward on our tendinopathy research, I’ve reached out to IADMS experts for help and advice from something as simple as “How do you quantify and define dance volume/exposure on your questionnaires?” to something as cool as being able to send ultrasound images and videos of the flexor hallucis longus tendon to international foot and ankle surgeons and experts to discuss potential abnormalities in the images. Other networking benefits I’m sure will continue to pay off as I look for post-doc and faculty positions. Not to mention simply how fun and friendly most of the dance medicine and science community is.

 

 If you’re interested, give it an honest shot. I think it’s easy to join for one year and attend the annual meeting when it’s near you. While that’s a great start and I’m sure you will benefit immensely from attending, to get the most out of IADMS it takes a commitment to the community. After two or three years attending and networking, you will start to see the community giving back. After the meeting, reach out to speakers and professionals you learned something from – introduce yourself, share your interests and goals, and thank them for the work they do. Pretty quickly, you’ll be able to express for yourself the benefits of being a part of the international dance medicine and science community.

 

Pictured: Michael Rowley and Pamela Oppenheimer.
Photo by Dan Dunlap.

 

If you’d like to share your experiences, email us at student@iadms.org

 

 

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5 Questions With…Gabriel Gonzales

Posted By IADMS Student Committee, Monday, February 13, 2017

This month’s featured member is our newest Student Committee member, Gabriel Gonzales of University of New Mexico. Gabriel is a pre-med student with an interest in dance medicine. His areas of interest include biochemistry, exercise science and dance (ballet).

-How did you first get interested in dance science/medicine?

My high school dance teacher doubled as my ballet teacher and my inspiration to pursue a career in dance medicine. Her knowledge of the human body astonished me, sparking my interest in learning about the human body and the ability it possesses in dance.


-
If you were not studying dance medicine/science, what would you be doing or what would your career be?

My alternative career would be a professional dancer, I love and respect the art immensely; but to study it with a scientific approach is my true goal.


-What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I plan on applying to medical schools with a focus in sports medicine, I also have plans to audition for ballet and modern dance companies.


-What would you say to a student thinking of joining IADMS?

Jump in! I would encourage students considering a career in sports wellness, dance, and dance science/medicine as students are exposed and continually kept up to date with the latest of dance research provided by well-established and respected members of the community.

 

-What made you apply to join the student committee?

My decision to apply to the IADMS student committee was clear when considering what I aspire to become in my future. Being a part of this committee grants the opportunity of sharing thoughts and gaining knowledge from professionals in the two fields I am interested in, dance and science. 

 

 If you’d like to share your experiences, email us at student@iadms.org.

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5 Questions With Carina Nasrallah, Stephanie Alimena and Lucie Clements

Posted By IADMS Student Committee, Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Our next featured members in the “5 Questions With…” column are Student Committee Members, Carina Nasrallah, Stephanie Alimena and Lucie Clements. Carina is an athletic trainer at Physical Therapy Solutions, Mechanicsville, Virginia - the official provider of physical therapy services and onsite care for the Richmond Ballet. Stephanie is a medical student at University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, CT and Lucie is a PhD student at Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Music and Dance, London UK.


How did you first get interested in dance science/medicine?


Carina - I began my training as a dancer at a young age, continued pre-professionally through high school, and then pursued dance as my major in undergraduate studies.  In high school, I witnessed one of my fellow dancers rupture her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during jumps in center.  I remember hearing about her experience with the doctors, surgery, etc. – she was often frustrated with how the doctors compared her injury to that of an athlete or football player and how little they knew about the demands of dance.  This piqued my interest and I found myself wanting to learn more about dance-related injuries, anatomy, and health.


Lucie - During my undergraduate degree studies, I was required to do a year-long work placement. I had pursued a BSc in Psychology rather than a dance career due to unresolved problems with bilateral labral tears, but I always had a determination to combine my studies with my lifelong love of dance. I could not believe my luck when I found a placement working in the cognitive neuroscience of dance, investigating kinaesthetic empathy and the mirror neuron system. During my research that year I came across some of the big names in dance psychology and realised that a career in the field was possible. I am grateful to my placement supervisor, Corinne Jola, for the encouragement and support she gave me in my first steps into dance science. When I discovered the MSc in Dance Science at Trinity Laban, there was no going back for me. I’ve been determined to pave my way in dance science as a specialist in dance psychology ever since.

 

Stephanie I've been dancing since the age of three and have wanted to be a doctor for just as long. Then when I was living in France for 2 years after college, I obtained a second Bachelor's degree in Dance in Paris, and learned just how underserved dancers are as a population. It became clear to me that I am passionate about learning how we can improve their access to health care and educating dancers about proper health maintenance strategies while training. While I've ultimately decided that I want to pursue a career in Women's Health, my passion for helping dancers will be something I take with me throughout my career.

 

 

-Are you currently participating in research? Can you give us your elevator pitch about your research area?

 

Carina - I am currently conducting a nationwide survey-study in the U.S. on the availability of healthcare services to student-dancers in university programs. Student-dancers in university programs are largely underserved with adequate healthcare.  Compared to traditional student-athletes, student-dancers in universities have limited access to specialized medical services, but the current availability of healthcare services is not well documented.  By identifying successful models for providing services and addressing potential limitations the dance medicine community can better advocate for accessible medical services as a feasible and necessary option for dance programs. I presented a poster summary of my research at the IADMS Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh.

 

Stephanie - I am currently involved in research looking at health seeking behaviors in dancers. Last summer I travelled to France and administered a questionnaire to members of two major ballet companies and two major ballet schools. Overall we found that dancers in France, like dancers in the U.S., tend to avoid going to the doctor when injured. We found that most dancers did not first seek help from a physician when injured. However, most dancers ultimately did receive care from a physician from their injury (86%), on average within 2.5 weeks of sustaining it. We also found differing rates of health seeking behaviours towards physicians among professional dancers vs. student dancers, with students being more likely to first access care from a dance teacher, whereas professionals were more likely to go directly to a physician specialist. We hope to further examine the cause of these differences in health seeking among dancers of varying professional status, to help improve access to care for younger dancers.


Lucie - I’m extremely fortunate to be receiving funding from the Leverhulme Trust to undertake PhD research within a project entitled ‘In the Dancer’s Mind; Creativity, Novelty and Imagination’. Working with Emma Redding at Trinity Laban, alongside UK dance and psychology colleagues from Coventry University and Plymouth University, we are investigating the impact of systematic imagery training in developing our students’ creativity and creative abilities. It’s been an amazing opportunity to work with choreography staff, embedding dance science research into the contemporary dance curriculum. Our research is a little different to the health-based focus we usually see at IADMS, but Dr. Redding and I are excited to share our work with IADMS over the coming years – watch this space!

 

 

-Which annual meeting has been your favourite so far and why?

 

Carina - I truly enjoyed the meeting in Basel, Switzerland.  I loved getting to travel internationally and visit to such a beautiful country and culture (not to mention the amazing chocolate and cheese fondu!).  It was also neat to reconnect with many of the colleagues I had met at my first annual meeting.  There are more familiar faces at every meeting you attend!

 

 Lucie – My favourite annual meeting was the one just gone, the 25th Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh. Not only was it my first experience of visiting the USA but the first time I had presented at IADMS. Being able to share my work with esteemed IADMS colleagues will always be a very special memory. I was also lucky enough to meet and receive advice from two of IADMS’ longest serving dance psychologists – Lynda Mainwaring and Paula Thomson. To speak to these people, whose work had opened my eyes to IADMS and dance psychology, was truly inspiring and their words of encouragement will stay with me for a very long time. It was also IADMS’ 25th anniversary celebration, and I turned 25 a couple of weeks after – I love that IADMS and I were born at the same time!

 

-In which ways has IADMS helped you grow in your field of study?

 

Carina - I have truly enjoyed getting to know the people behind the expanding and growing field of dance medicine and science.  Through their journal articles, online educational resources, and then getting to meet them in person at the annual meetings, I have continually been inspired and challenged to never stop asking questions -- and seeking out the answers.  My involvement with the IADMS community has made me more aware of how critical dance medicine and science is to the advancement of dance as an art form and the nurturing of body-wise, artist-athletes.

 

StephanieBefore IADMS, I had no idea that dance medicine and science existed. IADMS has helped me find mentors for my research, network with other people with similar research interests, and help me learn about my career options.

 

-What is the best thing about being a student member of IADMS?

 

Carina - The people and the resources.  Attending the annual meetings has been the best opportunity for me to meet like-minded individuals who are similarly passionate about improving dancer wellness and performance.  Of the researchers, students, and healthcare professionals that I have met at conferences, there have been a number who I have continued to collaborate and network with professionally.  Also, the resources that IADMS publish have raised the bar for dance medicine and science research; I have learned so much about expanding my knowledge and experience as an artist, researcher, and healthcare professional.

 

Stephanie - Hanging out with other students with similar interests! I was so impressed with the calibre of the student presentations at the last IADMS meeting. All the students are bright individuals with really interesting research projects. Everyone is also super nice and easy to get along with, and happy to help put you in touch with their connections as well. It really is an awesome student network.

Lucie - It’s great meeting other young, like-minded individuals. There is a large community of young dance scientists in London, but it’s exciting to establish connections with other people from around the world. I also love that now I’ve completed my MSc in Dance Science and I’m progressing with my PhD, I can share my experiences and enthusiasm with undergraduate students who are thinking of pursuing further study in the field.


-What has been your favourite IADMS experience?

 

Carina - At the 2013 Annual Meeting in Seattle, WAI had the opportunity to go on the kayaking trip around Lake Union in the centre of the City.  In the group were Matthew Wyon a Professor at Wolverhampton University and a handful of fellow students and educators.  Along with the amazing scenery and seeing the houseboat from Sleepless in Seattle, the trip was filled with laughter and so many unforgettable moments shared with amazing people!

 

Stephanie - I really enjoyed the Movement Session on KT Taping at the Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh. I learned a lot of information that has proven valuable to me time and time again this year in treating musculoskeletal injuries at the clinic where I work during medical school.

 

What would you say to a student thinking of joining IADMS?


Carina - Do not miss out!  The access to online resources such as the Journal of Dance Medicine & Science that you receive as a student member are essential to exploring any type of dance medicine/science topic -- for research, artistic development, or education.  The discount on registration for the Annual Meeting is another huge plus!  View it as a professional investment in your career as a research, educator, or artist rather than just an annual fee.

 


Lucie – I would highly encourage it. IADMS is a hugely supportive, welcoming network of individuals. When you’re undertaking research like I am, it’s easy to become really focused on that area and forget to listen out for what else is going on in dance science. For me, IADMS is the best way to stay up to date with current research in the dance science world. As students we look up to the founders and long serving members of IADMS, but we should also recognize that students are the future of the organisation. So, don’t be afraid to get involved!

 

If you are interested in the Student Committee and its initiatives, contact us at student@iadms.org.

 

Special thanks to the “5 Questions With...” sub-committee, Andrea Alvarez and Siobhan Mitchell.





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5 Questions With Andrea Alvarez and Siobhan Mitchell

Posted By IADMS Student Committee, Thursday, March 10, 2016

Our next featured members in the “5 Questions With…” column are Student Committee Members, Andrea Alvarez and Siobhan Mitchell. Andrea is a third year graduate student at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH, USA. Siobhan is a PhD student at the University of Bath, UK.

 

-How did you first get interested in dance science/medicine?

 

Siobhan - When I started training full-time we had an assignment to design a cross-training programme – I really got into the science of it and thinking about injury prevention and nutrition and ways to optimize my dance training and performance. A few years later when I was doing my undergraduate degree, we had a dance science module and this really inspired me to take my interest forward and apply for the Dance Science MSc at Laban – the rest is history!

 

Andrea - When I started taking classes about dancer wellness and health. While I was an undergraduate student, Texas A&M University was in the process of creating the dance science track kinesiology major. Since I was very active in the program, I decided to change my major once it was approved. It did not take long before I realized that was the right choice. I quickly started to find connections between all my science courses and how they could relate to dance and dancers. I remember sitting in my Athletic Injuries class thinking “I want to be an athletic trainer for dancers!” I was told there was no such thing, and I replied “well, I guess I am creating a new career.” Luckily, there are many of them now.

 

-Are you currently participating in research? Can you give us your elevator pitch or brief summary of your research area?

 

Siobhan - I am currently working on my PhD research exploring the implications of maturation timing upon psychological well-being in elite dancers. Current research suggests that maturation timing (whether an individual biologically matures in advance of their peers, later than their peers or at an average time) may be an important factor in how individuals cope with different learning experiences and social contexts and can therefore play a role in subsequent psychological wellbeing. My PhD research aims to explore this within the context of elite dance training and to investigate how we might use this knowledge within dance teaching contexts to promote and to optimise psychological wellbeing in adolescent dancers. I’m also working on a body composition research project with fellow IADMS member Jasmine Challis - we are trying to establish norms for a novel form of body composition assessment – we presented some of our findings at the IADMS conference in Pittsburgh!

 

Andrea - I am just starting my research this semester. I am working parallel to another institution, looking into how participation levels affect recovery among college dance students. Hopefully, I will have more details soon.

 

-What is the best thing about being a student member of IADMS?

 

Siobhan - The annual meetings and having the opportunity to network with and meet the people whose papers you’ve been reading all year! It’s great to feel a part of a community who share your interests and passion.

 

Andrea - Having the opportunity to meet and network with many professionals in our field of study/interest, and connecting with other students and young professionals from around the world who may be going through similar experiences. Also, having access to the Journal of Dance Medicine & Science, as well as many other resources like the Educational Opportunities Document, forums and blog, social media, etc.

 

-What has been your favorite IADMS experience?

 

Siobhan - Getting the opportunity to do poster presentations at the Annual Meetings in Seattle (2013) and Pittsburgh (2015) and of course being part of the student committee – it’s been a great experience so far!

 

Andrea - Oh there are too many. I would say the 24th Annual Meeting in Basel, Switzerland because it was my first time traveling overseas, and I was less shy about approaching professionals and talking to them and asking questions.  But also, the 21st Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. holds a special place in my heart because it was my first time attending, and I was the only student traveling with my professors.

 

-What would you say to a student thinking of joining IADMS?

 

Siobhan - It’s a brilliant opportunity to create a network of friends and connections who share your passion for dance science – it’s like a big family and it’s a wonderful thing to be a part of.

 

Andrea – Do it!! It is a great opportunity with amazing experiences!



If you are interested in the Student Committee and its initiatives, contact us at student@iadms.org.

 

Special thanks to the “5 Questions With...” sub-committee, Andrea Alvarez and Siobhan Mitchell.

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5 Questions With Amanda Clark

Posted By IADMS Student Committee, Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Our next featured member in the “5 Questions With…” column is our Student Committee Chair, Amanda Clark. Her areas of interest include dancer wellness, health, and education. Amanda will be graduating from Case Western Reserve University with an MFA in Contemporary Dance this May.


-How did you first get interested in dance science/medicine?

I chose to read Sally Fitt’s Dance Kinesiology textbook for a free reading assignment in my sophomore English class and once I finished the book I went to my favorite Science teacher and said “I know what I want to do when I grow up. I want to be a Dance Medicine Specialist.” He looked at me and said “What does that mean?” and I responded “I’m not quite sure. I’m not quite sure how I’ll get there, where I should study or what I should study, but I’m going to make it happen; I’ll call you when I do.” I loved dancing and knew I couldn’t stop doing what I was passionate about, but also had a passion for science and said “Yes! This is it!” I’ve been enjoying every step of my professional journey since that day.

 

-Are you currently participating in research? Can you give us your elevator pitch about your research area?

I presented the current iterations of my research that I have been participating in for the past two and a half years at the Annual Meeting in Basel, Switzerland. I hope to continue to finesse my study on attitudes and perceptions related to wellness screening and plan to publish in the future. My research is qualitative, and I am ever-curious about environmental & cultural effects on dancers’ attitudes and perceptions related to various health and wellness activities.

 

-Which annual meeting has been your favorite so far and why?

My favorite annual meeting was the 22nd Annual Meeting in Singapore. It will always hold a special place with me because it was my first experience as an IADMS member. I had heard about the organization through my undergraduate studies and always looked forward to the opportunity to join, attend the AM, and to hear what others in the field of Dance Medicine & Science are doing. It helped me realize how wide-spread yet close the community is. I was able to meet other student members, make new connections, and pick professionals’ brains. The innovations, findings, and studies that were presented helped me figure out what pathway I want to go down as a professional. 

 

-What is the best thing about being a student member of IADMS?

Being able to connect with and network with such a range of intelligent and creative individuals is great. Having resources available like the Educational Opportunities Document, the forums on the IADMS website, and social media connections to other students and young professionals from around the world make me feel like if I have any questions, want to connect with another student for research, or anything else I might need, I can get answers, discussion, and connected.

 

-What would you say to a student thinking of joining IADMS?

You should definitely join IADMS. The benefits are wonderful, the people are kind, the presentations at the Annual Meetings are inspiring, and the student committee is ever-helpful.

If you are interested in the Student Committee and its initiatives, contact us at student@iadms.org.

Special thanks to the “5 Questions With...” sub-committee, Andrea Alvarez and Siobhan Mitchell.

Tags:  5 Questions With  students 

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5 Questions with Susanna Piculell

Posted By IADMS Student Committee, Tuesday, March 3, 2015

This month's featured member is Susanna Piculell of University College London. Susanna is a physiotherapist specialising in dance medicine. Her areas of interest include injury prevention, preseason functional screenings, periodization for dancers and performance psychology.

 

-How did you first get interested in dance science/medicine?


I’ve always been fascinated by dance, both as a spectator and a performer. Nevertheless, I felt pretty early that the performing artist profession was not for me, so I decided to approach the field from another angle by combining my dance, exercise and health interests. Thus, I decided to become a physiotherapist and specialize in dance medicine. 


-Are you currently participating in research? Can you give us your elevator pitch about your research area?

My MSc research proposal is on-going and due to be finished in September 2015. The aim of the study is to investigate whether there is a correlation between two preseason tests (knee to wall and single leg calf capacity) and subsequent injury to feet and ankle in professional ballet dancers. This is to gain a little further understanding of possible underlying factors behind these, far too common, ballet injuries and what kind of preseason tests are worthwhile to include. I see it as a small step that can lead on to future studies, new questions and new pointers.

 

 

-Which Annual Meeting has been your favourite so far and why?

I have only been to one, but the 21st Annual Meeting was wonderful. It was my first international gathering with other people like me, “dance nerds,” who also possess a fascination and enthusiasm to optimize dance performance.


-In which ways has IADMS helped you grow in your field of study?
Particularly after my BSc graduation in 2011, the JDMS has been very important to keep me updated on the progress of dance medicine. I also see IADMS as an essential source for networking, the world of dance medicine is still rather small and we need to collaborate and share our knowledge to keep on moving forward.


-What would you say to a student thinking of joining IADMS?

Do it! Especially now when you’re a student, not only because it is cheaper but also because now you might be needing it the most, in terms of career advice, access to literature and networking.

 

 

If you’re interested in the Student Committee and its initiatives, contact us at student@iadms.org.


Special thanks to the “5 Questions With...” Sub-committee, Andrea Alvarez and Siobhan Mitchell.

Tags:  5 Questions With  perspective  physiotherapy 

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5 Questions with Claire Low

Posted By IADMS Student Committee, Monday, February 9, 2015

The Student Committee would like to introduce “5 Questions With…” a column designed to give students an opportunity to share something about themselves, their research, and their involvement with the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science (IADMS). Our first featured member is Claire Low, recipient of the Student Research Award in 2014 at the 24th Annual Meeting in Basel, Switzerland. She graduated from Glasgow Caledonian University and is currently a physiotherapist at Singapore General Hospital. Her areas of interest include dance injury, injury prevention, and Pilates for dancers.

 

-How did you first get interested in dance science/medicine?

My love for dance started early; I was in baby ballet by the time I was 3 years old. Over the years of training, I realized that I was restricted and had difficulty executing a number movements such as turn out. My dream to continue classical ballet was dashed when an examiner told my dance teacher that I was not a suitable candidate during one of the vocational examinations. Heartbroken, I went to the local library to do research on why my body was "different." It was then I stumbled upon Karen Clippinger's book "Dance Anatomy & Physiology." I learned that my physical limitations were structural and not because I did not work hard enough. Where I trained, anatomy is usually not taught or explained during dance class. There also are not any screening protocols to assist teachers and students in assessing their functional capabilities before pursuing dance. It was then at 14 years old that I decided to pursue a career in physiotherapy, which would allow me to work with dancers to promote understanding about their own bodies and prevent dance injuries through education. 

 

-Are you currently participating in research? Can you give us your elevator pitch about your research area?

I am currently working on writing up a publication of my research "Effects of supplemental training on fitness parameters in dancers: A Critical Review and Meta-analysis," which was presented at the Annual Meeting. The review aims to update dancers and practitioners about what current studies recommend on the type and duration of supplemental exercise, versus normal dance training, in improving fitness parameters like muscle strength and endurance capacity in ballet, contemporary, and modern dancers.

 

-What is the best thing about being a student member of IADMS?

Having access to the Journal of Dance Medicine & Science at a reduced rate! It helped me a lot with my dissertation, as most of the articles I used were published in JDMS and my university did not subscribe to it.

 

-What has been your favorite IADMS experience?

Meeting the authors of my critical review in person at the Annual Meeting.

 

-What would you say to a student thinking of joining IADMS?

Don't hesitate to join! Use the resources, especially JDMS, to broaden your knowledge. You also get to attend the Annual Meetings at discounted rates, which allows you meet other like-minded students as well as network with lecturers in the dance community. 

 

If you’re interested in the Student Committee and it’s initiatives, contact us at student@iadms.org. Special thanks to the “5 Questions With” sub-committee, Andrea Alvarez and Siobhan Mitchell. 

Tags:  5 Questions With  perspective  physiotherapy  students 

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